OPEN THE TRAILS! It’s a theme most fitting for the Olympic Peninsula Equine Network’s (OPEN) campout celebration and fundraiser held at the privately owned Layton Hill Horse Camp on July 10-11.
“We had a good turnout and a lot of fun over the weekend,” said Valerie Jackson, who co-founded OPEN with friend and neighbor Diane Royall.
During the weekend, participants were able to access miles of scenic trails, take their horses through an equine obstacle course, learn from three hands-on presentations of equine care and therapy methods and enjoy a group dinner, live music and community campfire, plus take part in a silent auction knowing all proceeds would benefit horses in need.
“Normally, our big fundraising event for the year is our annual dinner and dance, but we couldn’t have it last year due to the pandemic,” Jackson said. “Since we were unsure if we could hold a large event indoors again, we decided to host this campout and keep all activities outdoors.”
On Saturday, farrier Joe Marceau performed a horse trim, discussed the best tools for cleaning hooves — a hoof pick and wire brush — and the importance of hoof care.
“My demonstration was about compaction in the sole, the pros and cons,” he said. “Good compaction is so important — the supporting of organic materials that stay in the foot for long periods of time and can help prevent bruising of the sole — versus the cons, such as when it stays in there too long, and it creates a lot of bacterial problems like thrush, white line disease and so on.”
He gave people signs to look for that indicate compaction may become a problem. Once the hoof gets so fully compacted the sole is without fresh air, it becomes filled with anaerobic bacteria. And that’s when problems such as thrush occur.
Marceau asked me not to give out his phone number as he has a full list of clients and lacks the time to fit in new ones.
Dayna Killam, owner of 3 Arrows Pulse Works, gave a demonstration on how Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) works for equines. She also had a station set up at camp so she could work on people. She is a certified PEMF practitioner for equines, bovines, canines and humans.
As the name suggests, PEMF sends electronic waves of timed energy to sore or injured spots on the body.
“It works on a cellular level to get oxygen into your cells, so that your cells can naturally heal the body,” said Killam. “By doing so, it promotes circulation, thereby reducing inflammation and pain.”
A body in pain doesn’t heal well. Signs of how PEMF is helping a horse come through forms of relaxation, such as deeper and slower breathing, licking the lips, chewing and putting its head down.
For more information about Killam’s work, phone 360-301-9524 or email [email protected].
Bridget Stumbaugh, a certified acupressure practitioner at Nose to Toes, demonstrated how applying light pressure helps to release areas of pain, thus reducing inflammation and even ridding the body of muscle spasms.
Horses, like us, have twelve major meridians, along which are acupoints. When pressure is applied at these points, pathways open up and endorphins and other body chemicals are released, relieving pain and anxiety and reducing inflammation, thus helping the body to return to its natural state of health.
For more information, email Stumbaugh at [email protected] or phone 360-460-2953.
I’m an avid supporter of OPEN’s founders Jackson and Royall for stepping in to help horses in our area that have been starved, neglected, mistreated or no longer wanted. The reasons are varied as to why a horse comes through OPEN’s doors. Occasionally, they arrive because of a tragic event such as an owner dying. Or the owner may lose his or her job, then lack the money to buy feed or pay farrier and veterinarian bills.
“Whenever possible, we try to help those owners with hay to help get through tough times or perhaps help to re-home the horse to a good home,” Royall said. “Whatever we can do to cause the horse less stress, we try to do.”
To feed and care for my own two horses on my property costs me a minimum of $150 a month. Prior to trimming my own horses’ hooves, I paid $300 for a good trim and horse shoes about every eight weeks.
So I know it takes a huge amount of money — and personal energy — each month for OPEN to feed and care for the numerous horses they help nurse back to health, rehabilitate and find good homes for.
Financial support is always needed and welcomed to help the growing number of horses and owners who may need a helping hand due to the tough economic times we’re living through.
Donating is easier now than ever on OPEN’s website olypenequinenet.org. Simply click the Donations link, and you’ll be directed to olypenequinenet.networkforgood.com. There, you’ll find options to donate from $10 or more, select the frequency (one time, monthly, annually, etc.) and where you’d like your donation applied — a hay fund, general operations, a current project, adoption fee or a fundraising event, such as the weekend campout or dinner and dance party.
OPEN’s tack sale and base of operations is located at 251 Roupe Road in Sequim. For more information, visit the website or phone 360-207-1688. If you’d like to volunteer, email [email protected].
• Layton Hill Horse Camp is open for day or overnight riders and camping, even if you don’t have a horse. Each campsite has two corrals, a fire ring, a picnic table and a tent sight. There are additional corrals and highline areas for multiple horses.
Bring your own drinking water. It has nonpotable water for stock, as well as outhouses, a 40-foot round pen and 120-foot by 80-foot open arena. There are more than 12 obstacles to school your horse and access to miles of trails on DNR land.
Camping is $25 a night for two people and two horses. Extras are $10 a night. Day use is $7 per horse or per person.
The camp’s annual Ride the Hill, an all inclusive “horsin’ around” weekend is Aug. 21-23. This year’s theme is “Roaring ’20s Soiree.”
The weekend includes dinner Friday and Saturday with movie and popcorn Friday night in the meadow at dusk. Breakfast and lunch will be served Saturday and Sunday. Red Neck Polo kicks off Saturday afternoon’s. Prohibition Overturned begins at 5 p.m. featuring classic coverup drinks created during 1920s’ Prohibition. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. followed by music from the Jimmy Hoffman Band.
And as always, there will be trail rides.
Reservations for the soiree must be submitted by Tuesday, Aug. 10, by phoning Anna at 425-737-7404 or emailing [email protected] or mailing them to 1219 188th St. NE, Arlington, WA 98223.
Layton Hill Horse Camp is located at 2514 Chicken Coop Road in Sequim, WA 98382. To book a stay, phone Anna at 425-737-7404 or online at laytonhillhorsecamp.com.
Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Sunday of each month.
If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at [email protected] at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.